Skip to main content


Street Mural Celebrating Ireland's Threatened Swift (Apus apus)

For Culture Night Laois on Friday, September 23rd, Creative Ireland Laois, Laois County Council Heritage Office and BirdWatch Ireland launch a street mural by artist, James Kirwan to celebrate Ireland's threatened Swift (Apus apus). The mural is located at the gable end of the Gearoid Horan’s building on Patrick Street, Mountmellick and is adjacent to Mountmellick Community School.  

The Swift is a small migratory bird which arrives in Ireland to breed from Africa in May and departs by August each year. Mountmellick is a stronghold within County Laois for these charismatic and threatened bird. Although similar in appearance to Swallows and Martins, the Swift’s nearest relatives are thought to be the Hummingbirds, native to North and South America.

Artist James Kirwan has a keen interest in the importance of the protection of birds and their habitats in Ireland. He brings this, in his distinctive style, in his stunning Mountmellick Swift MuralIn October, James is scheduled to return to Mountmellick to facilitate a creative workshop with art students in Mountmellick Community College which will explore his street artworks and techniques, and reflect his interest in nature, and his use of abstract shapes.

The Swift episode reissue with BirdWatch Ireland Ricky Whelan and Niall Hatch is available at BirdWatch Ireland's ‘In Your Nature’ podcast.  

Image: L-R BirdWatch Ireland's Ricky Whelan with artist, James Kirwan

Please note that the details of events listed above are provided by the relevant Local Authorities.

Stay up to date